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tv   Sanjay Gupta MD  CNN  August 3, 2014 4:30am-5:01am PDT

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>> one victim shot in the head. another in the be a to men. we're glad you spent some time with us this morning. >> thanks for being here. dr. sanjay gupta m.d. that starts right now. i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world to a very special edition of sgmd. we're outside emory hospital. the video you're watching now is pretty historic. this is one of the first patients infected with the ebola virus to ever set foot in the united states. a patient with ebola has never been in the western hemisphere of the world. it's remarkable. this is a real first. now, we're going to tell you about this patient. his name is dr. kent brantly. we'll introduce you to the doctors who are tasked with saving his life and we'll show you exclusive images of how this
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will transpire. to start i want to talk a little bit about the medical evacuation. this was no easy task. it required travel with this gulfstream airplane. it was outfitted with a special containment unit to keep the patient stabilized faernl on the plane safe. after the plane landed at a military base outside of atlanta, this is a military base, we watched this scene unfold. first of all an ambulance and then the transfer of the patient on to the ambulance. we did talk to the ambulance team and they told us they took the patient by ground specifically because no helicopter could be equipped safely for this type of situation. now then there was a caravan of vehicles carrying dr. brantly. you see it. this is all on the busy crowded freeways of atlanta and ended up right here at emory university hospital. now when the ambulance got to emory and unloaded it was quite a scene. it was remarkable. we hadn't seen anything quite like this at the hospital. guys in the protective suits.
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one of the men you see him right there coming out of the ambulance walking in the hospital. that's in fact dr. brantly, the patient. this past week his condition was described to us as grave. it was a bit of a surprise for us to see him walking. we subsequently learned he was able to even shower prior to departing liberia for this fligtd. how sick was he is a lot of people asking and what does that mean going forward? i want to talk to the nih doctor about that and much more as well in just a moment. but first, you know, i want to share with you something else. we've now learned dr. brantly's family they are here at the hospital as well, his wife, his sister, his parents, they have waited and they have wondered for days now about his condition. about this evacuation. about whether their loved one would live or die. and we were just told they shed tears of joy when they saw this unfolding live on cnn. some of the images that you have just seen yourself. there are still plans to
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evacuate a second american medical worker. shereenly became stable enough to transport as well. if all goes well, she will join dr. brantly this coming week. now, again, this is a historic moment. the first cases of ebola in the western hemisphere. they fell sick in the midst of the worst outbreak in history. >> this is the mask with the air purifying system here. it purifies the air. >> each time this doctor checks in on his new patients he has to suit up. he's training for the assignment of his life. he'll be treating the first patients with ebola ever in atlanta, in the united states in the western hem steer of the world. the patients nancy and kent, both of them had a calling to service and they found themselves caring for the sick at samaritan's purse ebola
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center in liberia. >> i don't think it was on any of our minds but when the first wave of the epidemic hit in april and we got word of it, we knew that that was a potential that they would have to deal with. >> within a month of the first reports of ebola in guinea it crossed borders into lieria, into sierra leone. i traveled to report on the epidemic and it was apparent it was quickly growing into the deadliest ebola outbreak in history. it can be passed on through bodily fluids but a single virus particle may be enough to cause the disease. last week when two nationaries began experiencing symptoms of ebola, headaches, fever, vomiting. they suspected the worse and immediately isolated themselves. it took days to confirm those
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suspicions. they had the disease that they had fought so hard to treat. even as they worsened they sent messages of faith. >> i'm praying god helps me survive this disease. please continue to pray for me and my friend nancy who very sick and for the doctors taking care of us. thank you all very much. peace. kent. >> those prayers took form of this specially outfitted medevac jet left to vac wait americans and bring them back to emory university hospital. one of four sites in the country with a special containment center. how did this all transpire for you. >> one morning we got a phone call and they said we one you have a special unit. without hesitation we said yes. >> any hesitation in accepting these patients. >> it's been the reverse. we have a small cadre of nurses that staffed our unit.
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two nurses were scheduled to go on vacation tomorrow and they both cancelled their vacations. they said we've been training for this. we're not going miss this opportune. >> we know the risk is small. even smaller if these patients did not come here. if you don't have anything magical to provide why take the risk at all? >> i think you've been in that part of the world. and you know the level of care that can be delivered. these are americans who went over there to supply humanitarian mission of medical care for these individuals. and our feeling is that they deserve the best medical care they can get. >> i can tell you the isolation ward we're talking about here at emory is state-of-the-art in terms of bio protection. it's located on its own floor in the hospital and the rooms themselves are enkasd in glass. think of them as glass boxes. they have special intercom
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systems which means the patient's family can see and talk to them while still staying protective. some of that is happening right now. we've been talking about this for some time. ebola is a disease with no known cure or vaccine. could that change? is about it to change? what's next for dr. brantly? we'll be right back. let that phrase sit with you for a second. unlimited. as in, no limits on your hard-earned cash back. as in no more dealing with those rotating categories. the quicksilver card from capital one. unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase, every day. don't settle for anything less. i'll keep asking. what's in your wallet?
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i'm here at the emory university hospital here in atlanta. just behind me is where recently saw an american doctor infected with ebola walk into the hospital here after being medevaced from africa. now we know right now he and a second american patient did receive experimental treatments. although we don't have a good idea whether that has helped we'll learn that over the next few days. but at least one vaccine has been tested for safety in healthy human volunteers. earlier i spoke with a doctor who has been working with ebola
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in a lab for a quarter of a century. right now as you know better than anybody there's only certain things you can do in the field and in the hospital. there's no particular medicine for ebola. it's supportive treatment which means replacing fluids, sometimes replacing blood clotting factors. but your group got a $26 million grant to develop a vaccine and two medicines. a lot of people asking about this now. how far along is it? >> they are at different stages. but basically what our grant covers is taking three treatments that we think are the most promising that have shown substantial ability to protect animals against ebola and a b bio safety laboratory. one is a vaccine that works much like a rabies vaccine.
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all of these have been able to completely protect nonhuman primates against ebolebola. >> you're talking about the vaccine, two medicines. so far had some success with nonhuman primates. but it has been used on a human before as well in an emergency situation? >> that is correct. a few quarters ago a laboratory worker in germany had an accident with a needle. so the person was working with a small animal. jabbed herself with the needle. and within 40 hours a vaccine was flown from north america this, is a vaccine that we work on here. that vaccine was transported to germany. the individual was given the
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vaccine. and she survived. at this time we really don't know whether she was really infected. or the vaccine just really worked great but the vaccine itself did not cause any significant adverse effects which is a good thing. >> when something like this is happening now around the world, and given that none of the treatments that you're describing have been approved by the fda, that could change in the future, but is there a possibility that if this gets worse in west africa or in other parts of the world, that some of your medicines may start to get used that they will say look we have no other options this is the best thing that could possibly help, start doing it? >> it's a very good question. and there's a lot of regulatory issues involved, you know. it is -- there have been times when as you pointed out with the case in germany where a vaccine was used under compassionate use. it's a very complicated and complex situation because of the
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safety and we srltly don't to be seen as, you know, giving unproven experimental treatments to humans. but at the same time, under compassionate use if you're infected with ebola certainly anything would be better than nothing. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. joining me from washington now to talk more about this is the director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases. let me bounce out what we were watching. these experimental vaccines they seem to have some effect in monkeys. we hear there's another human safety trial launching in september. when there is no other option is there thought to giving the vaccine maybe perhaps to those health workers in africa at a minimum? >> well the vaccine that we just heard about is a post-exposure vaccine. generally when we think about a
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vaccine it's one you give before someone gets exposed or gets infected. we're working on a few of these including some of the early work on the vsb one that was just mentioned. they finyed animal studies and about to go into phase one clinical trials in humans to see if it's safe and if it indues an immune response you predict would be protective. it would be unusual at this point to go from straight pre-clinic jablg to people in the field. you want to get some safety data which, in our case will to be done with them by january and then we'll know then if it's a, safe and b, it induce response to be protected. when you have therapies, true therapies for it you can go to the fda and determine the circumstance to see if you can get with what was just mention ad compassionate use to give it thine don't have the proper complete line of testing. >> that makes sense.
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one of the things you may have heard and i heard as well, pretty startling was dr. brantly was given a blood transfusion from a patient who he had helped treat, a patient who recovered from ebola. the theory steamed have between blood that was transfused could contain anti-bodies to help fight off the virus. what do you think of that? could that have helped? has it been done before? what's your overall thought? >> that's a rather extreme approach to have done that but what they were thinking as you said correctly sanjay, this young boy and i'm getting this second hand like you are. this young boy was infected and recovered which means he very likely had an immune response particularly anti-bodies natural you took blood from that person and infused knit to dr. brantly you may have given some of the anti-bodies which could have been protective. this is just theoretical. >> one thing real quick, you may
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have seen some of the video. dr. brantly walking into the hospital today. we heard he was able to take a shower before he left liberia. he seemed to be doing much better than expected. we heard he was in serious, stable but serious condition. what do you make of that >> from the video i saw he look like he was out of the danger of having acute catastrophic phase of his disease but still not out of the woods from what we've heard about how serious his condition was before. what will likely go on at emory is make sure he's in good fluid balance, he doesn't have any electrolyte abnormal it as. the fact that he walked out with some help from that ambulance is really very good news to see somebody in that condition who previously was really very gravely ill. >> and just finally really quick
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this is a remarkable day. remarkable for notice be here to cover a story like. this is your life. your area of expertise. a quick thought on today. >> it is extraordinary. i think there's so many things extraordinary about what happened. this is as you said correctly, sanjay, this is the most severe outbreak in the history of ebola, ever since it was first recognized in 1976. we have the opportunity now table to take care of a patient here. but it also shows that we're equipped were it ever to happen. people keep asking the question, somebody gets on a plane, gets infected in an african country, comes here and is sick and people ask will there be an outbreak like we saw in the west african countries and the answer is no because we have the capability as you've shown on your show to be able to handle these kinds of things. >> always appreciate having you on the program. thank you. up next we're going to hear from
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the head of the cdc as well. i'll ask this simple question. how did he sign off on the transfer of this patient, how did it transpire. that's next.
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the first ebola patient on u.s. soil is being treated right here behind me at emory university hospital. this is the hospital where i work, where i'm on faculty here in atlanta. i just spoke with dr. tom frieden, he's the head of the u.s. centers for disease control and prevention. >> ebola is a virus that can be stopped. it can be stopped in the community by control measures and it can be prevented from spread in hospitals by meticulous infection control.
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that means you really have to follow every one of the procedures carefully. doctors without borders, msf, has been caring for ebola patients for many years in outbreaks. they've never had a death in one of their workers. so -- and that's in work in africa without the kind of advanced infection control procedures we have here. the stakes are higher with ebola, but the risk is no higher. it's a virus that's easily inactivated with standard cleaning solutions in a hospital. i think we fear it because it's so unfamiliar, but we shouldn't let that unfamiliarity trump our reason about the possibilities, the likelihood, the availability of effective infection control in hospitals throughout the u.s. ebola's a huge risk in africa. it's not going to be a huge risk in the u.s. >> yeah. and, again, you know, it's clear that the resources are more readily available in the united states. they're better. but that human element, again, you're knowingly bringing a patient with ebola into the
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united states, a virus that has not been here. and if there is some sort of lapse in the human element of precautions, i mean, how do you tell your neighbors -- you live here in atlanta, how do you tell your neighbors and frankly people in the united states that we are 100% confident this isn't going to turn into something more. even if it isn't a mass outbreak, how can you tell people to be 100% confident that someone else won't die or get sick as a result of this decision? >> ebola does not spread by casual contact. and it doesn't spread by somebody who's not ill. it spreads when people get sicker and sicker and sicker, the amount of virus in their body increases, and so the risk in africa is the health care workers who are caring for them and in the burial process. those are the two things that are driving the outbreaks in africa and we can prevent those risks from happening here. >> you know, the idea of ebola being here in our backyards, it can be alarming no doubt. we keep hearing from you on this.
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but earlier this year i spent time in guinea to help separate some of the facts from fiction. ♪ well, ebola is not the great plague. there's no question about that. but is a pretty formidable killer. it kills swiftly. it kills efficiently and oftentimes associated with a lot of blood. the grim reality is it often kills so quickly that people don't have time to spread it. ebola is not that contagious but it is infectious. what that means is it doesn't spread ease frill person to person, but it only takes a very small amount to cause an infection. on average, the person who gets ebola, if they're going to die, it's usually within about ten days. ebola does not travel through
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the air like the flu. you only get it if you spend time with somebody who is sick and come in contact with their bodily fluids. it is false that ebola liquefy your organs and tish use. that's science fiction of horror movies. it causes bleeding. your body can't keep up with the clotting and as a result you bleed from different organs. it's a myth that ebola is the most dangerous disease humans have ever encountered. hiv/aids has killed more people and up until recently there was no treatment for that disease either. rabies, if you develop symptoms you're unlikely to survive. with ebola in guinea, about seven out of ten people are dying, but not everybody. it is one of those things that certainly we're going to keep on top of. we'll be able to tell you the latest on what's happening here at emorry university hospital and the latest on what's
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happening with ebola in west afri africa. lots of updates as we get them. check of your top stories are up next right after a quick break. healthcare you deserve. at humana, we believe if healthcare changes, if frustration and paperwork decrease... the gap begins to close. so let's simplify things. let's close the gap between people and care.
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